Wandering Wino: It's a Marathon, Not a Sprint

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Everybody should know by now that it's Country Music Marathon Weekend. That means stay away from the pasta bars on Friday night as carbo loaders could be running rampant. But that might mean the other bars will be a little less crowded, so head out for some tippling at these and other fine drinking establishments.

Grand Cru wants to run you through the blender as they feature several blended "Rad Reds" from California. From their invitation:

"By blending, the winemaker can adjust his wines from year to year to reflect the best possible characteristics of a particular vintage. This almost always results in the a freshest, most flavorful glass of wine that the vineyard has to offer. The Grand Cru Top Ten Red List is dominated by blends, and this is a list that is computed directly from actual store sales. So if you haven't tried many blends, Saturday is your opportunity to taste some new arrivals that are destined to take their spot in your wine rack. Come by and check it out this Saturday, April 24 , 3-4:30 p.m. at dose coffee & tea on Murphy Road."

Next week, Midtown Wine and Spirits offer a rare opportunity for Zinfandel fans. On May 3, Christian Tietje, winemaker from Four Vines, will be in Nashville for his first visit. Four Vines Winery is known for their jammy old-vine Zins and I'm a big fan of their fruit bombs. Buy some Crest Strips for your front teeth, though.

$30 per person
Watermark Restaurant
6-8 p.m.
Call 254-2000
Limited spaces available

Wines To Be Tasted:
2008 Naked Chardonnay
2007 Old Vine Zinfandel
2008 Biker Zinfandel
2007 Anarchy Zinfandel
2007 Peasant Zinfandel
2007 Heretic Zinfandel
2005 Zinfandel Port

From Four Vines: "No restraint. No fear. That simple credo sums up the winemaking philosophy of Christian Tietje, Four Vines founder and rogue winemaker with an in-your-face passion for big reds."

Visit http://www.fourvines.com/meet_winemaker.html for his story.

Fresh off an inspirational performance in a losing effort at this week's Iron Fork, 55 South Chef Jason McConnell wants to invite you to a "Taste of the Delta Dinner" with Abita Beer on May 4. It's sure to be an unforgettable night, as guests gather at the 55 South in downtown Franklin at 6:30 p.m. for a reception, and dinner will begin at 7 p.m. The five-course event will feature some of Abita's most unique and seasonal offerings paired with McConnell's clever menu, true to Southern and delta-inspired flavors. Additionally, members of the Abita brew staff, as well as representatives from the local distributor, will be on hand to provide a behind-the-scenes discussion of the brewery and beers poured. The dinner will cost $35 per person plus tax and gratuity. Reservations are required for this event and can be made by calling 538-6001. For more information visit http://eat55.com. For information on the featured beers, visit http://abita.com/brews/.

The final course will be the same as Chef Jason's dessert which he presented to the Iron Fork judges. (And which I sampled from a leftover plate on the floor behind the stage. I ain't proud.)

THE EVENING'S MENU

Souse with Beer Mustard

Crawfish Cheescake Brulee

Abita Golden


Fried Green Tomatoes with Pimento Cheese

Abita Andygator


Mexican BBQ Shrimp

Abita Jockamo IPA


Bacon Wrapped Quail, Beer BBQ slaw, Hoe cake

Abita Abbey Ale


Angel Food Cake Bread Pudding with Fresh Strawberry Halves and Strawberry
Beer Coulis

Abita Strawberry Harvest

Souse? Fried green tomatoes? Hoe cakes? That's as country as a turnip green.

Enjoy!

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